There are two major government agencies that handle immigration and deportation issues in the United States. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is responsible for performing background checks, issuing visas and helping people become naturalized citizens or lawful permanent residents of the United States.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), on the other hand, has a focus on upholding immigration laws and judicial orders. While the USCIS often controls who comes into the country, ICE frequently has a lot to say about who has to leave the country. According to recent press releases by ICE, certain undocumented immigrants may be at high risk for expedited removal in the upcoming weeks.
Who will ICE target with this latest enforcement effort?
There are many individuals in the United States without proper paperwork, and some of them try to work with USCIS in order to allow themselves and their children to stay in the country. Some people have agreed to voluntarily leave the country because of their lack of documentation.
Agreeing to voluntarily leave can be easier and faster, and it avoids risks like incarceration for the person leaving. Allowing people to voluntarily leave makes it easier for these people to plan and reduces the costs associated with immigration enforcement. Unfortunately, not all of these people leave when they promise. ICE has indicated that they will specifically target those who previously promised to leave due to documentation issues but who are still in the country.
If you believe that you or any of your loved ones are at risk for deportation, you have the right to defend yourself and potentially ask for judicial intervention during an attempt at deportation. Getting help as an undocumented immigrant or someone facing removal from the country can improve your chances of staying in the United States.